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Motorcycles kill more than BMTC buses?


An interesting stat in the data sets from Traffic police - despite all the negative talk about BMTC drivers (tabloids love it), motor cycles accidents result in more deaths on city roads than BMTC buses. Further, tractors cause more deaths on city roads than taxis and maxi cabs combined. So much for the yellow plate trash talk :)

Setting sights on KSRTC, what say?

BusPublic Transport

We have discussed BMTC a lot. Tons of suggestions, some of which have gone in. Some of us here helped create the Bus Day event. We pulled lots of data out on their operations. etc etc. Wanted to check if we can set our sights on KSRTC now.

Metro digging work on ITPL road, Whitefield !?

Metro RailPublic Transport

Did anyone else notice the serious digging work going on around ITPL/Mahadevapura main road? This isn't some here and there soil testing type thing, they are making a continuous long trench on the north sidewalk of the main road going to ITPL. What's up? Phase-1 extension till ITPL - just can't be? Or has Phase-2 work begun now? Could be something else. Some pictures:

BDA dear, where is all the GIS/map data on Bangalore?

Urban DevelopmentGovernance

It is frustrating, as well as shameful. For any thinking, planning, discussions, whether for us citizens, or the government, one basic thing needed in public domain is a map. Not talking a simple map, but something that shows boundaries and jurisdictions of local govenrments, and also its assets (fire stations, water pumping stations, police stations, roads, rails, parks, lakes etc etc).

BDA and M/s Simplex Infra - Just Curious


Disclaimer first. Not pointing any fingers here, things are very likely to be squeky clean, and I only have the rights to ask as a citizen. Just curious, and want to know if anyone else noted that Simplex Infrastructure has been awarded almost all Outer Ring Road flyover projects coming up on South/East side of city.

The cable tangle - free ride?


It might sound like a trivial crib to many of you, but the freedom with which Cable TV operators ride on City's infrastructure conveys something to us. It might be a ignorable case of lax enforcement, and umpteen such small small things add up to promote the feeling that anyone can do anything with city's walls, pavements, poles, roads etc etc.

Counting the poor - how many do we have?


Public Agenda dear, here is that intellectually ruminating discussion we said we will have soon. How many poor people do we have in our country? The debate, and understanding the number is important because the classic quote goes - "you can't fix what you can't measure". If you can't count your poor, you can't check how your poverty alleviation programs are working.

Two important things around which disagreements arise are 1) How do you define a poor household? 2) How exactly do you count people using the poverty definition you accept?

First of all, the two popular stats that are quoted to start a discussions like this

  • Arjun Sengupta - 77% of Indians lived on less than Rs 20 a day.
  • Suresh Tendulkar co. - Poverty ratio at the all India level ... 37.2% in 2004-05. Rural poverty ... 41.8% and urban ... 25.7%. Criteria, spend per person per month. Rs446.68 in rural areas. Rs578.8 in urban. (see

Some other notable stats:

GIM - Beyond Bangalore, Business World


Read some coverage of GIM in BusinessWorld, (Beyond Bangalore). Must say that beyond Bangalore is a nice topic for the article, here are some intereasting bits:

... projects, if they all take off, will see Rs 4 lakh crore being invested ... Almost 65 per cent of these projects are in the iron and steel sector ... in Bellary.

The stat that Karnataka needs to change is this ...

Karnataka ... single-city economy. Bengaluru ... accounts for over 55-60 per cent of the state’s GDP, according to Aroon Raman, chairman of CII-Karnataka.

An interesting angle on iron ore controversy. Will illegal activity go away, be legalized now!?

Why should I support this Bandh?


Why should I be forced to support a strike call (bandh) that I don't agree with? Where is my freedom of expression? Why is my office shut? Why is my son's school shut as well? Are the officea and schools shut because they support the bandh, or are they 'scared'? Why can state government not guarantee rule of law on general bandh day? Real shame in today's day and age, such "goonda-giri' driven bandhs are the most farcical tools of public vote in a democracy.

Leaving aside the "how can a ruling party support a strike" thing and talking specifics, what is wrong  with total decontrol of fuel pricess to let the market forces rule? Kerosene price rise can be buffered towards a gradual decontrol, but the public needs to alter their fuel usage pattern - shift the burden away from fossils - and energy companies need that push to innovate.

Where are those GIM projects?


After all the tamasha, a global meet attended mostly by Indians, and those concerns looming around equitable use of natural resources and land acquisition, it is all the more important for state government to share as much follow up information on GIM announcements as possible. But the GIM website as gone cold (no updates after June 4!) and as always, we are at the mercy of our journalist friends to know more.

Business Standard covered GIM last week, twice. First time on June 21, Karnataka clears 69 new investment proposals. Exceprts:

SHLCC .... cleared 69 new industrial investment proposals worth Rs 87,494 crore. This was the first meeting of SHLCC after the recently concluded global investors’ meet (GIM).

Wonder where to find minutes of SHLCC meetings

Lokayukta, Praje and fear


I have heard him in a couple of public meetings, and have met him in a small group once. Note taken from those interactions with Lokayukta Santosh Hegde was that he has two battles to fight. One of them we know well enough, newspapers love covering how the government doesn't cooperate in prosecution or investigations.

The other battle for him - or any such toothless or draconian institution government could create - is to get real support from us, as in the citizens, people, praja. SMS campaigns, petitions etc (one petition from Loksatta party is still live on this website) is one thing, making full use of Lokayukta's office is another.

Signal Free Corridor projects - need scrutiny (updated)


Vinay S, an active member at Hasiru Usiru has obtained detailed information from BBMP on upcoming signal free corridor projects. Many people think that the project(s) need some serious scrutiny for the returns they promise on investments. Its one thing to make a relatively new road like Outer ring road into a signal free corridor, and another to talk about turning more than half dozen radial roads signal free without a clear plan for each and every interesction that lies on the way, or more important, without commensurate or alternate investments on public transport (like priority lanes for Big10 routes). Many feel that without such clarity, these corridor projects may end up being "bottleneck shifting" or "more parking space for free" projects.

Vinay has promised to mail over all documents he has obtained (will upload them here as soon as I get hold of them). We may need to scan and upload some sketches as well.

Global Investors Meet - Tier2 cities to get some love?


A friend called from UK recently to tell me that he spotted an ad from Karnataka government about Global Investors Meet 2010 in a prominent daily there. Thats how serious GoK has been about marketing this event taking place next week.

Need - More of Tier 2

Bengaluru has had enough of love. Those Tier-2 cities need all the attention now. No, not talking Hoskote, Bidadi or Devenahalli, talk real tier2, far up central, and further north. More initiatives like Suvarna Karnataka Development Corridor (SKDC - click here) are it.

Wanted - park/lung space in whitefield area


Amidst the barrage of not to this and no to that posts, here is an "I need this" instead. Whitefield has seen relentless concretization in last 4-5 years. Nice roads, the best pavements, tech parks, and housing complexes. But life is not all about living, commuting and working. We need to play, mingle around and relax as well. For that, need some serious public space, or a large new park.

Center of the city has plenty of these, but it takes too much time to go to Cubbon Park or Lalbagh or Freedom Park now. Whitefield area has a few lakes, and new recreational amenities can be developed around a few of those. We know that a large park will not bring any white or black money to BBMP or BDA, and that is probably why concrete is the flavor of the decade in Bangalore. If you live around Whitefield, leave your comment with words of support, and we will figure how to take this request forward with local corporators or MLA or BBMP/BDA.

Mr Praveen Sood, can we do a Monthly Enforcement Day?


On the lines of Bus Day, where citizen groups and volunteers support BMTC in executing a real on-ground event, will Bengaluru Traffic Police be game to lead us for a "Traffic Enforcement Day"?

In theory, BMTC should treat every day as Bus Day, and traffic police every day as enforcement day. But we know the realities. But then, what could be special in this once a month event? Some possibilities would be:

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